Various PML-Q leaders during electioneering for the NA-108 by-poll asked the people to compare the development work planned and executed during the five-year tenure of Pervaiz Elahi as Punjab chief minister with that of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who has been ruling the province for the last seven years.

Addressing a press conference to announced Hamza Nasir as PML-Q candidate to contest the by-poll, Raja Bashart, a former Punjab law minister, referred to the achievements of PML-Q. He said that road network was improved and new roads linking farms to markets were built in Musharraf era.

“New District Headquarters Hospital with 268 beds was approved and land for that was acquired. This project was started with release of initial grant of Rs50 million. District Jinnah School and College was built which now stands in the list of top public schools in the country. Farmers-friendly policies were devised. Farmers’ agriculture produce was purchased in time and provided them with subsidised agri inputs,” he claimed.

He said that his party’s government had started giving free books at at primary level across the Punjab province. He added, “Police posts were built on highways for safe travelling of citizens. Pesticides and fertilisers’ prices were kept low and their timely availability was ensured.” Then he asked the participants to compare the situation with the present one.

Now, he said, roads of rural areas were in dilapidated condition. Irrigation channels are broken as PML-N government had ignored the agriculture sector, he said. He added that the Punjab government was spending huge money projects being carried out in Lahore only. He said PML-N has spent $ 190 million on Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Project of Bahwalpur, and now it has no money for purchase of wheat. Similarly, all the projects approved during PML-N government were not completed as per the schedule, he said. He noted that it was surprising that major hospitals in Rawalpind does not have MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) facility. He said before taking expensive project of Metro Bus, Shahbaz Sharif should have provided health facility for saving lives of citizens.

On the occasion, Riaz Asghar Chaudhry pointed out the failure of PML-N in all the fields, saying that it had left the common citizen in miserable condition. He said Ch Pervaiz Elahi as then chief minister got approved Rehabilitation Centre for Patients, Burn Centre, Public Health Nursing School, Paramedical School, Nursing College and District Health Development Centre but no work on these projects have started so far. He said media was fourth pillar of democracy so it should strengthen democracy by their honest and true reports.

Hamza Nasir vowed to serve the downtrodden if given chance. He said toured the area as part of election campaign and met with the people suffering badly due to “anti-people” policies of PML-N government. He said the time was ripe for making collective efforts to steer the county out of darkness and make it prosperous and stable.